Published date: May 2020
Owned and operated by the volunteers of the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust, the Mid-Norfolk Railway runs from Dereham to the market town of Wymondham, along an 11-mile line. Dereham station has been sympathetically restored and today looks how it would have in the late 1950s. There is a period ticket office, souvenir shop, tearoom and interesting displays of local railway memorabilia.
The station in Wymondham is situated adjacent to the river Tiffey and close to Wymondham Abbey, which was founded in 1107 and built as a Benedictine priory by William d’Aubigny. The train journey offers passengers superb views of the stunning Norfolk countryside, with most of their services operated using heritage diesel railcars and locomotives. Steam services do however operate during certain times of the year. Staffed entirely by volunteers, they are on hand to answer any questions visitors may have about the line.
Operating most weekends from March to December and also on Wednesdays during the summer months, the railway also hosts a number of special events throughout the year that are suitable for all ages. These have previously included model rail exhibitions, themed transport days, Halloween and Santa specials. Much work has been undertaken restoring and upgrading the railway and this work is still ongoing, with many improvements in the pipeline.
The Museum Room at Dereham Station houses a variety of local and regional railway exhibits and when open has a steward on duty to answer any questions visitors may have. Find out about the railway line from when it opened in 1846 up until the present day. The whole railway is a working museum, with sights, sounds and smells evocative of the 1950s and 1960s. The Museum is run by the Mid-Norfolk Railway’s Heritage and Education Team. There are free activity sheets for younger visitors to Dereham Station and they also work with schools, colleges and other museums and regularly provide speakers for clubs and other groups.
Group Travel and Charter Trains - The Mid-Norfolk Railway operates a full service of timetabled trains throughout the year and it is possible to pre-book a group on any of these services. Special discounted fares are available for pre-booked groups of 10 or more passengers and they have previously catered for a wide range of events, including weddings and anniversary trips, birthday parties and other family celebrations, corporate functions and clubs and societies days out.
School groups are catered for and they offer various talks, including about the running of a railway, history of the railway, finances, engineering and tourism. They also work closely with Wymondham Abbey, who offer guided tours and educational talks that can be added as a package.
Outside of normal operating days the Mid-Norfolk Railway offers the option to charter a special train for your own use, subject to any engineering works taking place. Details of the hire charges for a charter train are available on request, please visit their website for more details.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway offers the chance to drive former mainline locomotives through the beautiful Norfolk countryside under the expert guidance of an experienced and qualified instructor. Choose from eight different experiences, both shared and individual, to suit all levels of interest and budgets. Learn the necessary skills to safely control and operate a locomotive on the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
Dereham Station has a large car park, which is suitable for coaches. The car park at Wymondham is smaller and can fit a few cars.
To find out more about the Mid-Norfolk Railway, including timetables and fares, special events and experiences, please visit their website.